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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » September 2, 2011
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Sacrum Profanum Festival in Cracow
September 2, 2011   
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This year’s Sacrum Profanum festival, one of Europe’s most intriguing contemporary music festivals, will take place in Cracow in mid-September, bringing together household names such as Aphex Twin, Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, Polish jazz pianist Leszek Możdżer and the famed minimalist composer Steve Reich.

The festival, lasting Sept. 11-17, will open with an unprecedented joint performance by Reich, this year’s guest of honor, and Greenwood in the production hall of the ArcelorMittal steelworks in Cracow. Reich, who will be celebrating his 75th birthday, will also appear at the ‘Reich 75’ closing concert, together with major figures of modern jazz and alternative music. Confirmed artists include Możdżer, Adrian Utley of Portishead, Will Gregory of Goldfrapp, Tom Verlaine, and Polish alternative music producer Envee.

On Sept. 12-16, the Cracow Museum of Urban Engineering and the Łaźnia Nowa theater will host the “Modern Classic” section of the festival, starring the world’s most distinguished contemporary music ensembles. Ensemble Modern, Alarm Will Sound, Klangforum Wien, Bang on a Can All-Stars and Amadrums are among this year’s highlights.

The Sacrum Profanum festival first took place in Cracow in 2003. It has since grown into one of the most interesting European festivals, merging classical music with acts such as Kraftwerk, Jónsi and Polish jazz stars. Each year the festival focuses on music from a specific country—this year, the United States.

The festival has been dubbed “one of Europe’s most prestigious” by Beethoven Magazine and received numerous awards in Poland and beyond. It has also been included in the official calendar of events of the Polish presidency of the European Union.

A pass to all the festival’s events costs zl.650 (discounts zl.400) and can be bought online or in Cracow’s InfoKraków city information points. It is also possible to buy tickets for either the Modern Classic section or concerts featuring Steve Reich.

Joanna Kozłowska
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